Bic (company)

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Société Bic
Type Société Anonyme
Traded as EuronextBB
Industry Consumer Goods
Founded Clichy, France (1945 (1945))
Founders Marcel Bich
Edouard Buffard
Headquarters Clichy, France
Area served Worldwide
Key people Bruno Bich, Chairman
Mario Guevara, CEO
Revenue Increase1.5627 billion (2009)[1]
Operating income Increase€216.0 million (2009)[1]
Net income Increase€151.7 million (2009)[1]
Total assets Increase€2.0291 billion (2009)[1]
Total equity Increase€1.3040 billion (2009)[1]
Employees Increase10,449 (2009)[1]
Website BICWorld.com
Bic Cristal pen
Bic Clic Stic pen

Société Bic (commonly referred to just as Bic) is a company based in Clichy, France.[2] They are best known for making ballpoint pens. It was founded in 1945 by Baron Marcel Bich and has become known for making disposable consumer products such as lighters, razors, and printed paper products[3]

Products[edit]

In 1970 Gillette purchased S. T. Dupont Paris whose principal product was luxury cigarette lighters. During this time Dupont explored the possibilities of marketing a disposable lighter, developing an inexpensive disposable lighter called Cricket, which it introduced in the United States in 1972. Later that year Bic was test marketing a disposable lighter that could provide 3,000 lights before wearing out; Bic introduced this lighter in 1973.[4]

They, as well as the Bic Cristal ballpoint pen, are easily recognizable as a result of their importance in pop culture. As such, they are represented in the design collection of the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. The company competes in most markets against Faber-Castell, Global Gillette, Newell Rubbermaid and Schwan-Stabilo.[5] The Bic pen, more correctly the Bic Cristal, was the company's first product.[6][7]

Ownership[edit]

The company went public in 1958 with a reverse merger into the older Waterman Pen Company of Seymour, Connecticut, in the United States, and later sold off the older operation.[8] The Bich family owns about 40 percent of Bic stock and controls 55% of its voting power.

In June 2010, Bic sold its funeral products division to Prairie Capital, a Chicago based private equity firm.[9]

United States subsidiary[edit]

After buying the Waterman Pen Company in Seymour, Connecticut in 1958, Bic needed a larger space for its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing operation, so the headquarters was moved to nearby Milford, Connecticut, where it remained on a road eventually renamed "Bic Drive" until 2008, when the headquarters moved to Shelton, Connecticut. A lighter factory remains on the Milford site.[10]

The company's U.S. subsidiary, BIC Corporation, accounts for more than half of the worldwide company's sales. Both Bruno Bich, the current chairman of the board, who rose through the ranks in the U.S. organization, and Mario Guevara, the current chief executive officer, worked in the American subsidiary for several years.[11]

Sponsorship[edit]

Bic sponsored a professional cycling team in the 1960s led by Tour de France winners Jacques Anquetil and Luis Ocaña.[12] The company began sponsoring the Tour again in 2011 as an "official supporter",[13] which they have continued to do to the present day.[14]

Bic also sponsored the Alain Prost–led Prost Grand Prix team in Formula One from 1997 to 2000.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2009. Notes to the consolidated financial statements. Auditor’s opinion. Pages 34, 50, 52–53.
  2. ^ "Legal Notice." Bic. Retrieved on 7 February 2011. "Head office : 14, rue Jeanne d’Asnières 92611 Clichy cedex, France."
  3. ^ "Bic Graphic Website". BIC Graphic Company. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/bic-corporation-history/
  5. ^ http://www.bicworld.com/en/press/press-detail/77/bic-lighter-on-show-at-moma
  6. ^ "BIC Corporation - Company History". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  7. ^ "History". Bicworld.com. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  8. ^ Friday, Mar. 17, 1967 (1967-03-17). "Corporations: Mightier than the Pencil". TIME. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  9. ^ "SmartMoney News". SmartMoney.com. 2002-10-03. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  10. ^ Web page titled "Milford Chamber Through the Years, 1954-2004", at the Milford Chamber of Commerce website, retrieved October 21, 2010; Dolan, Ryan, "BIC moves 350 to Shelton", Fairfield County Business Journal, March 3, 2008, retrieved October 27, 2010
  11. ^ Web page titled "Directors biographies" at the Bic World website, retrieved October 21, 2010
  12. ^ "Historic Overview Jacques Anquetil". www.CyclingRanking.com. 1934-01-08. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  13. ^ "BIC Official Supporter of the Tour de France". bicworld.com. 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  14. ^ "Bic: official supplier of le Tour de France". Facebook. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 

External links[edit]